MALAYSIA OPEN 2011 Day 1 – Poor start for local back-up shuttlers

This week’s Proton Malaysia Open is the first tournament of the 2011 BWF Super Series. Despite  the fact that it was only the qualification day, the atmosphere in the stadium […]

This week’s Proton is the first tournament of the 2011 BWF Super Series. Despite  the fact that it was only the qualification day, the atmosphere in the stadium was not too shabby.  Local supporters had made the trip to Bukit Jalil stadium to cheer for the Malaysian youngsters.

By Lee Suet Yan, Badzine Correspondent live in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Qualifiers have to play in two qualification rounds before they can enter the main draw. The first qualification round started with mixed doubles at 9 a.m. local time and there were some withdrawals in the mixed doubles. These include the withdrawal of Ruud Bosch / Lotte Jonathans and Hong Wei / Bao Yixin. Hong/Bao withdrew from the tournament because Bao had suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in her left knee.

Other than that, the 2nd seed Robert Blair and Gabrielle White (pictured) beat Ow Yao Han / Vivian Hoo Kah Mun. Blair/White started well by leading 7-1 in the first game, and the Malaysian youngsters, still lacking experience, eventually let Blair/White win the first game 21-11. In the second game, Ow/Hoo tried to fight back, but the European pair is still a bit strong for them. Ow/Hoo lost 15-21 in the second game. Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Shinta Mulia Sari, seeded 3rd, crashed out to the Malaysian pair Tan Wee Gleen / Lee Meng Yean in their first qualification round in 3 tight games.

In the women’s singles, Lydia Cheah won the first game easily against Poon Lok Yan, but she dropped the second game 15-21. A few mistakes towards the end of the second game forced her to play for a rubber game. In the third game, she responded superbly by not giving any chance to Poon and progressed herself into the second qualification round.

Meanwhile, Lydia’s younger sister Sonia Cheah was on court fighting hard against Japan Unisys player Ayane Kurihara (photo), the reigning Russia Open champion.  Sonia looked a bit nervous in the first game as she lost 16-21. Sonia had shown some resistance in the second game, when Sonia was leading 19-17 in the second game, a bad line call for Ayane gave a game point to Sonia. Ayane was more or less be affected by the bad line call, she lost the second game 17-21.

In the final deciding game, it was a totally disaster game for Sonia as she fell behing 0-9. The big lead gave Ayane more confidence in the third game. Ayane attacked fiercely with some nice cross court drop shots, cross court netting and she even hit a few sharp smashes that could not be returned by Sonia. Eventually, she sent Sonia back home 21-10.

On the other hand, it is glad to see former Malaysia second women’s singles Julia Wong (photo) is coming back from a knee injury, winning the first qualification round by beating Tse Ying Suet 15-21, 21-14, 22-20. This is a good start to boost her confidence back. In the third game, Julia was leading 17-14. But Tse did not give up after getting some instruction from her coach Wang Chen. Tse drew level at 17-17. At last, with the crowd supports, Julia survived a very tight match with Tse, winning the third game 22-20.

The men’s singles seemed to have the most interesting matches of the day as the withdrawal of some players opened up some spots for Malaysia elite back-up players such as Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng and Chan Kwong Beng to play in the qualification round. Yogendran Khrisnan (photo) provided local fans with a big upset against Taiwan top singles player Hsieh Yu Hsing. The first game started with explosive speeds between both players, Yogendran played a quick and attacking play, whilst Hsieh defending more than adequately when required. After defending for a few shots, Hsieh created himself some opportunities to attack. Hsieh took the first game 21-13. However, Yogendran turned the table around in the second and third game as he defeated Hsieh 21-10, 21-15. Hsieh looked to be suffering a bit in the third game, as his left knee was wrapped seriously with bandages.

Among the three Malaysian elite back-up players, Chan Kwong Beng is the only one who successfully qualified to the second qualification round. After taking the first game 21-17, Chan changed his tactic of play in the second game. He pulled his opponent Chou Tien Chen all around the court with some great net plays and some great smashes. Chan won 21-17, 21-16 easily. Liew Daren on the other hand was so frustrated after losing his match closely to Hsueh Hsuan Yi. Hsueh ended the match 22-20 in the third game with a powerful half court smash to the forehand of Liew in which Liew could not return the shuttle. Chong Wei Feng also failed to qualified himself to the second qualification round after losing the Tommy Sugiarto 21-16, 24-22.

For the men’s doubles, surprisingly He Hanbin / Tao Jiaming crashed out to Malaysian pair Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid / Vountus Indra Mawan  in three games. In the first game He/Tao started badly as they fell 5-11, the Malaysian pair was playing more aggressively as they attack more in the first game. In the second game, the Malaysian pair can actually wrap up the match in two games, but the Malaysian pair made some unforced errors towards the end of the game. In the third game, it shown that He/Tao were still lack of some understanding as this is their first time pairing with each other. It had shown that they are better in mixed doubles instead of men’s doubles. Finally, the Malaysian pair won 21-14, 19-21, 21-17.

The second qualification round was to start at 5pm local time.

About Suetyan Lee